THE BEST of Dorset’s tourism has been recognised in a glittering ceremony.

There were plenty of west Dorset winners in the Dorset Tourism Awards 2014, which took place at Bovington Tank Museum.

Amongst them were the Lyme Bay RIB Charter in Bridport, picking up Gold in the Tourism Activity, Sport & Experience category as well as boss Simon Miles taking the prestigious award for Outstanding Customer Service.

Other Gold winners were the Alexandra Hotel in Lyme Regis, Sculpture by the Lakes near Dorchester, The White House in Charmouth, and the West Dorset Tourism Information Service.

Kathryn Haskins, director at the Alexandra Hotel, said: "We are just so delighted. Everyone at the Alexandra works really hard to provide our guests with an unforgettable stay. This award is the highest recognition of the commitment and dedication of the team.

“We say to ourselves every day, what will make our guest stay a memorable experience.”

Weymouth’s Jurassic Electric picked up a Silver award in the Tourism Activity, Sport and Experience category.

Martin Gershon, who established Jurassic Electric in 2012 said: “We are incredibly delighted. As a relatively young business up against tough competition in this category, we are so proud to have been recognised for our unique electric bike based adventures.

“West Dorset has some incredible landscapes and the electric motor on our amazing machines provides the extra power that has allowed guests of all ages and level of fitness to thoroughly enjoy their experiences with us.”

The Dorset Tourism Awards were launched in June 2013, following liaisons between founder Robin Barker and local tourism leaders.

Robin has been delighted with progress since then, saying: “This year has seen more entries, more sponsors, a bigger event and – most importantly in this globally competitive industry – a further rise in the quality of entries. I am proud to be part of it.”

Successful businesses in the Dorset Awards will now be fast-tracked into the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in February 2015 and then possibly on to the National Visit England Awards later in 2015.

Partner at headline awards sponsor Saffery’s Andrew Alder said: “The standard of entries this year has been excellent and shows that tourism in Dorset is thriving. It bodes well for the sector as a whole and the Dorset economy in general.

“We were particularly pleased with the Tourism Entrepreneur category which we introduced for this year’s competition. People willing to innovate and demonstrate leadership are crucial to any sector, none more than tourism where visitors have seemingly infinite choice.

“Once again Dorset has showcased the businesses and organisations which help to make it a world class tourist destination area.”